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Re: Whats the sodium for?

Ken Keith wrote:
> quattro <quattro@acacianet.com> wrote:
> >
> > I'm not sure that sodium reaches a liquid state at the temperatures =
> > encountered in even a turbo-charged internal combustion engine. Anyone =
> > got another theory?
> >
> > >In the turbo head the valves have sodium in 'em.  How does this allow
> > >you to run more boost?  Does it cool the valve better???
> >
> > Aleksander wrote:
> >
> > As the valve opens and closes the liquid sodium moves inside the valve,
> > taking the heat away from the tip and transfering it to the well cooled
> > stem. Liquid sodium is an excellent heat conductor - it is used on some
> > nuclear sumbarines for cooling reactors.
> I pictured the valves as being filled with the sodium, without room to
> slosh around.  If it can move around, what's in the empty space, a vacuum?
> Air?
> I do believe the sodium is either a powder or a liquid, tho'.  There are
> warnings about cutting into sodium valves, because it's poisonous.  I
> would imagine a solid material, even if it was poisonous, would be pretty
> easy to handle safely compared to a liquid or powder.
> I dunno,
> Ken

Sodium requires special handling in any form.  It reacts with the
moisture in the air releasing a considerable amount of heat.  A common
High School chemistry demonstration is to place a small chip of metallic
sodium in water.  The chip reacts with the water releasing hydrogen and
oxygen and enough heat to ignite the hydrogen.